Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Premature Evaluation: Planetoid Pioneers

planetoid-pioneers-review

Every week we abandon Brendan on an early access space rock to test his resolve. This time, the janky, comedy physics of Planetoid Pioneers [official site]

My robot head is jammed in a gate. I idled too long by a giant steel door while considering my route through the tunnels, and now the door has closed automatically. My bonce is firmly trapped against the ground as if by a giant mechanical boot. By the time I wriggle free, my bot-body will be all scratched and scraped. I’d like to say it’s the worst thing to happen during my time with Planetoid Pioneers but this isn’t the only ignominy I’ve suffered in my exploration of the physics-based platformer. I’ve been roasted alive, crushed by a boulder, trapped under an elevator, gunned to shreds by turrets, and completely de-limbed by other robots. But I’ve also giggled quite a lot.
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Death To The Author: killing creators in Dishonored, Portal and BioShock

dishonoreddeath

When we meet the creators of fictional worlds, we often want to kill them. Whether its Bioshock’s Andrew Ryan and his deadly Rapture, GlaDOS and the sadistic test chambers of Portal, or Kirin Jindosh and the Clockwork Mansion. The urge to destroy these builders is partly down to the nature of their constructions – deathtraps and mazes that make the architect a cruel overseer – but there is perhaps more to it than that. With spoilers for the above, Hazel Monforton investigates the role (and the death) of the author in a medium that invites the audience into the action.

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Atomega: Ubisoft’s FPS makes everyone equal, even when they’re not

atomega-shooter

I am an ambulatory shoebox. Nearby, King Kong’s shooting a velociraptor. Fire-spitting lizards slither through tunnels around their feet. Somewhere on the far horizon, a disintegrating god the size of a space station hurls lethal judgement down upon us all.

Every one of these entities is a player in Ubisoft’s new online shooter Atomega [official site], and every player is the same character.
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Statespace: the neuroscientists who want to improve your gaming skills

Aim Lab

With the proliferation of esports and the potentially huge sums of money involved if you make it to the top tier in some games it’s not surprising that there are so many third-parties carving out a niche by offering to help improve your performance. One which caught my eye recently was Statespace [official site] which is being set up by Wayne Mackey and Jay Fuller. The pair have left their academic research positions at New York University to focus on this neuroscience-based tool for developing the skills associated with competitive gaming.

The software and the first product, Aim Lab, is only just launching into beta and this is hardly the first email I’ve had about a project aiming to help aspiring pro players improve their gaming BUT I had so many questions when faced with the idea of what Fuller suggested – “you could think of it like the NFL Combine or perhaps FitBit for gaming” – that I couldn’t resist finding out a bit more: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Rogue Islands

Rogue Islands

Roguelikes and roguelikelikes are not my thing. I get bored, I get frustrated, I absolutely hate the idea of starting all over again when I’ve finally had a good run and it goes sour, I hate Spelunky’s bats, I hate FTL’s fights and I would happily push Don’t Starve’s bees into a volcano. However, after making a video of the game last week, I have spent 15 entirely voluntary hours of my weekend in Rogue Islands [official site], a roguelikelike where you roam across a set of Minecrafty-looking procedural island levels deactivating demon portals and walloping hell bats. Here’s why:

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Whipping it into shape: City Of Brass’s Early Access

City Of Brass [official site], the procedurally generated rogue-ish Arabian Nights FPS has entered early access today, allowing you to play a version that the former BioShock developers are keen to stress is unfinished, leaving you “likely to encounter bugs, unfair tuning, and general weirdness.” But also have some jumpy choppy whippy fun? I’ve been having a look. Read the rest of this entry »

PUBG best weapon guide: loadouts for stealth, sniping, assault and more

PUBG's best weapons explained.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has 24 guns currently available, each with its own set of scopes and attachments to glue on, which means it’s fair to say that keeping track of them all can be a little difficult.

This Battlegrounds weapons guide will make that easier. Specifically, we’ve come up with several ‘builds’ that you can follow. However PUBG is a fickle game where a lot of your decisions fall to chance, and these builds aren’t set in stone. Instead, try to think of them more as tips to follow in case you ever have to decide between multiple options. It’s also worth noting that items found within the airdrops have been deliberately excluded from this guide, simply because of their extremely low frequency.

Before we get started, you should consider reading our general Battlegrounds tips first. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Project Cars 2

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Project Cars 2 [official site] threw me into so many different racing disciplines that I needed copious amounts of tea to reflect and recover. I got a taste of the game a few weeks ago and found it satisfying, but now that I’ve spent some time with the full version, due for release this week, I’m fully on board, in spite of a few significant flaws. Containing so many options and disciplines risks making it a jack of all trades, but there’s enough quality in the fundamentals to make the whole thing worth your while.

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Steam Charts: Death Under Tunnel Bridge

This week we finally learn who the killer is, but will the answer provide more questions than solutions? Read on for this week’s hair-raising installment of… The Steam Charts. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for reading about videogames all day and nothing else. That’s why you’re here, right?

At Waypoint, Patrick Klepek wrote about how two developers dealt with the racist parts of their community. There are interesting anecdotes here, about the work required to deal with problem players in online games. Read the rest of this entry »

Divinity: Original Sin 2 verdict – face-robbing, limb-chomping, heart-breaking

Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] is out of Early Access and fully released. Adam and John have both spent many, many hours with the alpha, and are now beginning to chew their way through the full version. That makes it an ideal time to get together to chat about their thoughts on the game so far, the experience of playing an RPG before it’s finished, and how to break the news of a death to a baby bear.

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Unknown Pleasures: the best new Steam games you might have missed this week

unknownpleasuressteam

Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly digest of our favourite new games released on Steam over the past few days that we’ve not already covered in detail.

This week, John and Adam take the reigns and bring you destructive but lovable robots, golf gone wrong and a bloody good pub.

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Evasion of the bodysnatcher in Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider

death-of-the-outsider-impersonation

Here you will find the curious case of the politician who broke his neck then went for a nice walk as if nothing had happened.

I’ll be along early next week with full thoughts in our Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider review [official site], but seeing as it’s out right now I want to bend your ear about the most interesting of its new sneak-o-magicky powers: the ability to temporarily assume of the appearance of almost any other character in the game. ‘Semblance’, as it’s called, puts a little Hitman into Dishonored’s whalepunk fantasy – only instead of borrowing someone’s clothes, you take their face. It’s a new tool in the series’ stealth armoury, but more importantly it’s another gonzo way of solving problems.

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Have You Played… The Crew?

A lonely car considers its options in a world made for human beings

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The Crew [official site] isn’t a great racing game. The car handling of this open world “MMO racer” isn’t great, there’s UI vomited at you from every corner of the screen, and it launched with so many problems that we never actually gave it a full review. It annoyed John a lot. But Ubisoft have this thing they do. Step 1: Release a mediocre game. Step 2: Make one hundred sequels of it. Thus, The Crew 2. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

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Another week has passed and we’re back here, on a Friday, picking through the bounty of the best gaming and tech deals of the week. This week brought us a range of stuff from Humble, including a copy of Psychonauts absolutely free. Elsewhere, Amazon offered up a limited-time batch of vouchers to take up to £25 off a range of games.

If any of that sounds like your kind of thing, or you just enjoy having a look at what’s around at the moment, you’re in the right place. We’ve got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started.

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8K non-gaming and the importance of pixels

Philips' new 8K wonderscreen

Yes, yes, I know 8K gaming is an utter irrelevance. Frankly, 4K remains a niche gaming resolution. But hang with me. 8K monitors are popping up from major manufacturers and with them the build-it-and-they-will-come logic of gaming at a preposterous resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. The fact that gaming at 8K isn’t really viable with current hardware is, up to a point, a separate issue. The mere possibility of gaming at a resolution fully four times higher than 4K begs the question of how much resolution matters and indeed how much it matters compared to other factors including refresh rate, response, colour quality, panel size and more. How important, truly, are pixels?

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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show on pets in games

Doggo Meato

It’s an animal extravaganza on our podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. This week we’re talking about pets in games, y’see. Good boys, bad boys, mediocre boys – we love them all. Alice joins us to praise a terrible raccoon Pokémon who’s rubbish at fighting but great at surfing. And while Pip adores the ghostly holo-cat of Tacoma, I prefer the cute xenomorph of Alien Isolation, who can perform all sorts of neat tricks. That’s right, who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? OK now put me down. Stop that. You’re drooling. I said stop it. Read the rest of this entry »

Halo is superbly re-imagined in fan-made project SPV3

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Halo has always been a hard sell on PC, but with the Destiny 2 introducing a once-neglected audience to a world of floaty jumps and immensely satisfying shotguns, Bungie has fully extended the olive branch to once-spurned PC gamers. Fitting, then, the week prior to Destiny’s beta saw the release of SPV3, a massively expanded fan-made remake of the original Halo over ten years in the making.

Based on (and working miracles with) Gearbox’s wonky port of the original Halo, SPV3 re-envisions the first game as a direct followup to prequel Halo: Reach, patching in new and familiar enemies, weapons and vehicle types, along with gameplay features from later titles such as vehicle hijacking and suit-power modules, and a few entirely new gubbins. Aside from a few visual low-points it’s remarkably pleasant to look at. Not quite as pretty as 343’s official HD remastering, but no slouch for a 16-year-old game. There’s even an FOV slider.

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Have You Played… Fury Of The Furries?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

No sniggering at the back, please. This is/was a mid-90s puzzle-platformer starring a group of big-footed fuzzballs with special powers that differed depending on the colour of their fur. It was irritating and it was ingenious in equal parts, and I can almost imagine the colour-shifting-based puzzling and grappling hooks and wall-chomping working well now. Read the rest of this entry »